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  MSNBC    Up W Chris Hayes    News/Business. Smart  
   conversation on news of the day. New.  

    January 5, 2013
    5:00 - 7:00am PST  

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less prosive 113th. number two, no one cares about the deficit. people in washington who most claim about the deficit don't actually care about the deficit. for instance, all of these people -- >> a national debt that has gotten so out of hand, it sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours. >> deficits that mortgage our children and our grandchildren's futures. >> we've got to get this debt and deficit under control. we're not going to dump that issue. >> i'll keep doing everything i can to get our economy moving forward. and put our national debt under control. >> if nothing changes, we'll have deficits every year for the next ten years. the next decade. no one can tell me that we can sustain that pace. >> all of those people you just saw invading against the deficit, all of those people voted for a deal. according to an analysis of the congressional budget office adds
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$3.9 trillion over the next decade. i've said this before, i'll say it again, you cannot make sense of what politicians in washington actually do if you take at face value their stated concern for the debt. this tracks the deficit reducing the falgt that each subsequent offer made by the white house. what you see as the white house negotiated with republicans, the party that runs around yell about fiscal disciplines and dire warnings. as the white house negotiated with that party, the amount of deficit reduction kept getting smaller until it ended up at less than half of what was originally proposed. when politicians say the word deficit what they mean is somethings entirely. lesson number three, budget battles are about power not ideology. the main idea was a tea party caucus first in the country over the fiscal cliff and refusing in the words of starbucks cups every "come together" to solve the country's problems.
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it's much harder to make automatic on ideological contour of it than it is to see the winners and losers. 70% of american house holds will see the taxes go up because the expiration of the tax cut first proposed by obama. this tax raised for the vast majority of wage earners was basically a foregone conclusion. the rarest of things in washington a totally nonproposition. grover norquist shrugged it off. >> obama was the guy who said this is a tax holiday. calling it a tax holiday suggests they viewed it as temporary. holidays aren't permanent. >> you may say the parties to this deal were trying to reduce the deal. and saved $100 billion. well, yes. but then congress came around and pass sensitives, breaks that
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will cost $68 billion in this year alone. in other words, congress saved money by allowing taxes of wage earners to go up and it took 72% of those savings and turned around and gave them a way to, among other nascar to subsidize racetracks, hollywood to subsidize film production and wall street which maintained a $9.4 billion loophole called the active financing reception. all the back and forth over the fiscal cliff and top marge anal rate and chain cpis these deals were never discussed or negotiated over. there's always a foregone conclusion, wage earns were going to pay more in taxes while nascar and goldman sachs were going to get their tax breaks. some washington, it's always the things not debated that are the most dangerous. do you want to find out what my panel thinks about my lesson of the so-called fiscal cliff, right after this. is a better car than camry.
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joining me are congressman gerald mather, suzy kim, a reporter at the "washington post." david k. johnson, author of the fine print how big companies use plain english to rob you blind and pulitzer prize winning journalist. and verrenic vunic at the george mason university. good to have you here. happy new year everyone. happy new years to uppers at home. a lot to talk about. i followed this largely on twitter. i was sick with a fever in bed watching this unfold. i'll start with you congressman because you actually had to cast a vote on this thing. you know i will confide
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something with you. the deal was struggle between mcconnell and biden. it hassed through the senate 89-8, nin89-12. and then they went home. there's this thing called the hastert rule which means republicans won't bring republicans to the floor until they have a deal of republicans. and i was hoping they would kill it. i was hoping they would kill. and i was actually curous to see to see in progressives, ala, the t.a.r.p. vote would do that. nancy pelosi delivered the vote, one being yours. why did you vote for it? >> it was better than the alternative. the alternative was a massive spending that would have led to
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much higher unemployment. >> you're talking about the sequester? >> the sequester and the repeal of taxes at the same time. plus the sequester. plus, you would have had no -- extensions of unemployment would have gone away. the doc fix, that is say, medicare rates would have gone down by 20%. so a lot of people would not have been able to get taxes. it was better than the alt ti . alternative. i think we will look back on this as either a good thing or a bad thing in the next two months. >> let me ask you your questions before i get your thoughts on the deal. what i said up there was, it it seemed to me after we had gone off the cliff, showing the fact that the cliff metaphor was bankrupt, why not wait until the 113th congress? is it so important for allen west and joe walsh to be able to vote on this deal that we have to make sure that we pass something out of the 112th? why not wait for the 113th?
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>> well you could make a case for that. you know, i wouldn't have opposed -- >> you're not calling the plays is what you're telling me. >> yeah, number one. but number two, it's certainly not a cliff. first of all, understand the metaphor, most people thought this was something to do with the deficit. just the opposite. the problem here, which everybody admitted if we didn't do something, we were going to -- >> austerity. >> which means you're going to reduce the deficit too far too fast which it would hike unemployment and so forth. you could have waited a few days. a few days later, you could reduce taxes retro actively, it wouldn't have hurt. >> david? >> if the herd is going to go there, you have to go with the herd. congressman makess perfect sens.
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it would have led to a much better decision than we're going to have in the next couple of months. i think we're going to have an awful discussion in the next two years about the role of government and spending and a small ideological enhanced group by their hour. >> a lot of people on the right say, i think, i saw mixed opinions on the right, right? some people endorsed the deal. some people came out swing against it. some people have said, well, you've now put the tax issue aside and we can focus on spending. and some said you have managed to walk away from deals that wouldn't involve tax cuts because we know, suzie, from the reports out there that were deals on the table that were offered? where do you come down with that? >> i find it terrible that there were actually no spending cuts in that deal but i'm not surprised. when you look at the dynamic, republicans have the worst record on spending.
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i will take issue in the beginning showing the deficit reduction and how republicans refused to vote against bigger reduction deal. i think democrats have extremely weak knees in spite of everything they say about raising revenue when it comes to actually raising revenue. >> i totally agree. >> i would agree with that. what's interesting about this bill, is not so much what it does as what is it doesn't do. it doesn't reduce the deficit barely at all. creating some cushion for the unemployed. it doesn't take advantage of the fact that we have interest rates so low. and we can borrow very cheaply right now, which is one of the president's priorities. but basically, the reason that folks on both left and right are dissatisfied with this, it really was a de minimis deal. as congress mentioned we avoid
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the worst austerity all at once. this debate is going to get kicked around for weeks to come. >> i think also the problem is, the debate is skewed way to the right. the president advised to cut spending. we should not be cutting spend right now. right now, we could be increasing spending, we should borrow more money at negative interest rates which means they're paying us to take our money and putting people to work, et cetera. and we're not even hearing that side of the debate. >> and that goes to the fundamental problem going on, and that is, it's raeleacting t the idea that somehow we have to cut spending for the middle class and working class people, instead of having an agenda. instead of saying, no, this is our agenda. stop playing offensive ball. >> what do you mean by that,
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have an agenda in terms of spending money? >> yeah. >> the president leaves that out in every speech. >> say that again? >> he has what in every speech. >> which means we have to have major spending cuts. >> i'd like to put to rest that sequestration is going to bring december states cuts. it won't. were you look at projections with the impact of sequestration cuts on the growth of government spending, basically, it's a cut, with the exception of the first, it's a cut and even that is very minor. the cut to the growth of spending. these are not devastating cuts. and it's also nothing that will address -- >> i disagree. >> let me say this. it's true that it changes the growth. you're right. right now if you look at the budget control act which is of course the piece of legislation that came out of the debt ceiling deal. and luke at what just happened in the american tax relief,
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those two give you fiscal consolidation at around 1.9% of gdp. brad blumer ran the numbers on this. we're actually right now short of sequestration already between the taxes and the cuts, we're already looking at an european level of austerity. >> and if you look at discretionary spending, that is to say, nonentitlement spending, you project it from 2010 to 2022, upnder the 4president pla it will go to 3.1%. >> i want to give you a chance. >> you look at the projection, spendinging is growing throughout the period. sure, if -- >> right, because the economy's growing. >> and the population is growing. >> that's right. >> when you look at -- discretionary spending, even defense spending with the exception, as i said, over the
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first year, defense spend will go continue to grow. and that is after defense spending grew by 70% in real terms over the last ten years. >> totally agree. there's a few wrinkles in the guts of this in terms of taxes that i mention that i want to talk about. the payroll tax. i'm just amazed at how no one seemed to fight for the payroll ax, "a." the tax extenders and the estate tax giveaway it mind-boggling. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me.
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now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. [ slap! ] [ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] ow! ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium-rich tums starts working so fast you'll forget you had heartburn. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums the last thing middle class families can afford now is to pay upwards of 2.8% more in taxes. thanks to so much of you, because you've made your voices heard drought this debate. we stopped that. we've now raised those rates permanently. making the tax code more progressive than it's been in decades. >> that was the president on wednesday announcing the deal basically, taking a little victory lap on it.
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but the reporting out of this was all about stopping the middle-class tax hike. but people -- you make money, if you're a wage earner and you're watching the show, you're going to get your first paycheck. your paycheck will be smaller. and the reason it will be smaller is because there was a 2% payroll tax holiday this past year that has expired. now, there are reasons that people didn't like the payroll tax holiday. but i am just amazed that no one fought for this damn thing when you consider the fact that apparently raising taxes on the middle class is the worst thing anyone can do. everyone loves tax cuts. here's a great little detail about this i thought was so fascina fascinating. i thought where's grover norquist on this. we looked at the norquist tax pledge and it doesn't mention payroll taxes at all. it's to propose any and all
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margins to increase rates for individuals or businesses and two, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax. how did this happeny. >> interesting thing about this debate, obama himself gave it up voluntarily. during negotiations before everything fell apart with boehner, he dropped it, you know, that his third offer. the stimulus that he had been offering including unemployment benefits and so forth, he decided to drop it. and then it was a foregone conclusion weeks ago, even before he reached sort of the crisis point in terms of the negotiations back and forth. >> okay. so the president drops it. why don't democrats in congress think about it? don't republicans like cutting taxes? what is the deal? >> the republicans never liked the payroll tax holiday.
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the republicans have been against it. there were a whole bunch they were opposed to. i don't remember what they were. democrats, some of us did raise our voices against that. the problem is you had a two-front war we were opposing the president on the chain cpi and the possibility of medicare breaks. you can only fight so many wars at the same time when you're president. >> i'd say politicians always want to go for the low-hanging fruit. the change in the c.o.l.a. is a low-hanging fruits. and the payroll tax. more importantly, i think it's a good thing to let the payroll tax go up, especially if you're insistant on the idea that the american people are actually paying into the -- into its social securities. >> that's a very important point. and some of us never liked the payroll tax. >> yeah, so explain why --
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basically, there were never any fans of this thing. it was basically orphaned. >> it should have been an equal tax hit on low and moderate-income people. we always say that the social security should not be on the table. social security has nothing to do with the deficit and that is basically true. however when you put in this payroll tax holiday, you substituted a direct check from the treasury. >> from the general fund into the trust fund? >> and that robs you of the ability to say that social security has nothing to do with the deficit. so we wanted to get rid of the payroll tax cut to restore our ability to protect social security. but we should have substituted something like the make or may tax credit. >> to raise taxes. >> the make or pay was part of the recovery act. >> and the payroll tax credit was a substitute for it. the republicans wouldn't allow
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them to make it. >> why didn't the making work pay credit, chris, you probably didn't get it. but we got a huge tax cut during those two years my wife and i because we both pay the maximum tax. that's an upside down and dumb way to do this. republicans are not adverse to raising taxes. they retroactively raised them on teenages are in 2006. maybe made 20,000 single, 40,000 married, there was a tax rise. >> none of these looks at this. it is about power. teenagers don't have a lot of power and working people. >> one thing that the congressman brought up that's important to remember, by letting the payroll tax holiday expire. that took $110 billion out of people's pockets, more or less. that's about the same amount that the sequester would have hit us in 2013.
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these awful cuts that would have had too much distraction. on the other happened, we're still getting hit. so if the sequester is so bad because it takes this money out of the economy, why we we taking -- by that law -- >> the sequester also -- >> i want to ask you guys all a question, after the gigantic increase in defense spending you are all opposed to the cut in the defense budget? >> oh, no, not at all. >> i don't think anyone is. >> no. >> by the logic that if you're arguing that, you know, as democrats and republicans both agree, they agree the sequester is bad. so if you're going to take that money out of the economy -- >> if the problem is fiscal consolidation and that's what you're worried about -- >> the problem is fiscal consolidation, if that's what they say they're going to do, why are they acting against that? there there's always a disconnect whether republicans or democrats. i totally agree thinking democrats believe in this. and republicans believe in this
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is the wrong way to go about this. >> the place where that's most evident to me are the tax extenders. it's hard to find -- there's not a long list of hollywood traditions to read into that. that's much more the sort dirty muck of politics. i want to talk about the tax extenders and the execution which to me is a giveaway. right after this. ♪ reach one customer at a time? ♪ or help doctors turn billions of bytes of shared information... ♪ into a fifth anniversary of remission? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. if we took the already great sentra apart and completely reimagined it? ...with best-in-class combined mpg... and more interior room than corolla and civic?
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we're talking about the deal that came out of the fiscal curve, the so-called fiscal cliff. luckily, we're not going to have to refer to it anymore so we won't have this nomenclature confusion. the tax extension part of it, david walk our audience through what tax extenders are. >> it just means a favor that continues. in the case of nascar these guys want to write off their investment on the stadium or road they built, not in 15 years, but 7. that means they get better cash flow immediately. >> right. this is advancing a depreciation schedule that can be massively lucrative. >> that's right. and it makes it much more lucrative. there's no extension for nascar what does the compelling public need that we have to give this nax break. it makes no sense. there are plenty of compelling needs and this is where you talk
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about, it's about power, it's about the terrible campaign system that we have that starts our politics. it has nothing to do with good public policy on any level. >> the thing that drives me crazy about tax extenders, most are one-year set. some of are two. they don't get the ten-year budget scoring. everyone says this exhausts $68 billion. but that's just one year. if you do that every year, every one of the savings gets wiped out. >> and it's the government picking the winners and losers. if you want to talk about a market economy. then let's have a market economy. let's not have corporate socialism. that's what this is about. we were private tize gains, socialize losses and subsidize these. nascar, we need to subsidize? >> basically, all the tax skernds, what got passed the very last minute had been put
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into a senate bill into a committee months and months ago. it was settled, oh, last minute, we've got to pull that out of there. the things that are in there that have broad are public support, the research and development credit is something that both democrats and republicans say they would like to encourage businesses to subsidize their r & d. that's been extended at least 14 times up until then. >> right. >> even from businesses that profit from this, this isn't actually the way they want it. >> we could be clear. this say continuation of the status quo. there's nothing in that package. >> it's an extension. >> sometimes what i love is the retroactive extension. particularly the recollect tro acti retroactive extension of a policy you can't subsidize. the whole idea of an r & d tax incentive is to incentivize people go to r & d.
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>> by the way, there's some evidence what's called r and d really isn't r and d. it's wildcy accepted. >> the other thing that's evident when you look at the data, the big beneficiaries for all the talk by the president about being, you know, people, actually very he's -- >> you mean out of fact extenders? >> yes. most business subsidies, when you look at them, when you look at who is actually benefitting from them, they're usual large, well-established companies that actually do not need this type of support from the government. and shouldn't get it. >> speak up for corporate socialism. >> i'm not. >> i agree mostly on this, most tax expenditures. but some make sense. for example, the wind -- >> the wind tax credit. >> wind tax credit which got
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extended. you want, in new industries, you want to promote -- now, there are only two ways of doing those, by the way. you could simply appropriate money and say this company gets some and that company gets some by act of congress. people don't want to do that. for obvious reasons. the other way of doing it is by saying if you meet certain requirements you get a tax break. we sometimes overdo it. >> the problem with the win tax credit is, it's not part of a comprehensive strategy. >> i agree. >> we're now providing extra-high concerns for building certain kinds of transmission lines but we're not taking care of other needs. >> of course, we do. but in the absence of it, this is better. >> you're in the well of the house, got to build -- >> can i clarify something? i mean, the win tax credit, in one form or another, has been around for over 20 years. this is not -- >> it lapsed for a few year,
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actually. >> it lapsed for a few years which, by the way, makes these extremely inefficient. more importantly, when you look at who's benefiting from the wind production, i mean -- it's notable, these guys are double-dipping like crazy. >> hey, most of our tax expenditures, the taxes, so forth, are unjustified. however, i would support wind renewable because we have to get that as a larger proportion. >> so you support that -- >> yes. because we have to get that as a larger fraction of our energy. we've got to get away from fossil fuels. global warming and everything else. and if it's not the most efficient way of doing it, it's still the best way. >> it's a sort of third, fourth best solution. you raise a point i want to talk about next which is the distribution of all of this,
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right? the campaign was about taxpayerness. there's a head line in the it's in unless a good piece by andy lowery saying we now have the most progressive rate structure since probably the carter years. i want to take a deep dive, if this is about fairness. have we stepped in the right direction in fairness, right after this break. with unitedhealthcare, i get information that matters... my individual health profile. not random statistics. they even reward me for addressing my health risks. so i'm doing fine... but she's still going to give me a heart attack. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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all right. if it's saturday morning, it's tax policy here on "up." we're talking about the deal that was struck this past week to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. i want to give people a sense of the size of the tax increase we're talking about. it's about .2% of "gameday." .2% of gdp, take a look at historical comparison. the big tax rate that ronald reagan did in 1982 was 1% of gdp. if you look at the first clinton
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budget which we remember as an iconic moment of raising taxes, that was .6% of gdp. so this is in the historical sense quite a relatively low amount of tax hiking in an historic al perspective of raising other taxes. this to me before we went to break i said was a big question. i want to see a more equitable society. and one of the big items on the agenda in this campaign was the fact that we needed more tax fairness. we have rising inequality. we have a set of tax cuts passed under george w. bush that were massively redistributional in their effect. this is the percentage of tax cut by income level. those people making $129,000 got a 3% tax cut.
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$270,000 bought a 3%. those making 1.5 million got a 1%. there's this weird distribution. basically john boehner fought for people making $300,000 and $400,000 a year. but this is just the income stuff. there are also the effects of the estate tax and the fact that carried interest, that's the things that so crazy. when you break down what happeneded in the estate tax, david? >> well we raise the estate tax limits which were in the high 600,000 range in the late '90s to $5 million per person under bush. that's just a nominal number. taxpayers will show you how to push $200 million through without paying tax because of these rules out will. mitt romney and his wife at a time you could only put $1.2 million to your children created a trust that was $100 million.
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you put in something you know has little value. as a private equity manager, view it in value after the deal, suddenly 1.2 becomes a billion. i do think we need to recognize, because we ask people to save for their retirement that you have to adjust the system for that. but the system so porous. most of the gains in the stays have not been taxed. >> head line, the white house wanted the estate tax to go back to the 2009 levels and the white house fought for 1212 levels. the difference amounts to a billion bucks. every heir out there who has the tragic and sad loss of their parents, their very wealthy parent, is going to a million bucks more. >> nominally. >> what's interesting about the
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estate tax in the deal, it's $5 million per person point about that is adjusted for inflation. >> right. >> so that means each year that's going to go up. it's interesting i think so the tax policy center does analysis, you have democrats saying folks with family farms these sort of big assets that pass them on to their children. they found that in 2012 about 40 small businesses and family farms would be subject to any estate tax at all. and that level was preserved. >> i'm still looking for that family farm that was lost. for the bush administration couldn't produce a farm 11 years ago or 12 years ago. >> oh, that's right. >> i'm still looking for it, the mythical farm. >> can you go back back to your incumbent quality. >> yes. >> i think there's something lost in the debate. if the quest for reducing incumbent equality. i think what matters to americans is the chance to go up
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in the quest for income equality, the quest for taxes to go up i think is wrong. it actually has a very, very progressive system. so -- >> well -- >> you can actually question -- >> it has a progressive -- let me clarify, it has a progressive rate structure and rate schedule. it has nominally a very progressive rate schedule. the actual tax system is not that progressive. >> no, if you add the state level. at the federal level -- >> yes, at the federal level, the officially posted rates structure. >> to do a comparison, looking at not just a share paid by the top they have the progressivity index. the u.s. has an extremely aggressive tax system than the european who has less income equality.
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so here, we're talking about tax progressivity and equality more broadly and specifically about the deal that was struck to avert the fiscal cliff. here are my thoughts in short order. look, this was a step in the right direction in terms of progressivity. it restores a rate schedule that's as progressive as it has been since the charter years. it reduces capital gains rates. limited reductions at the high end of the scale. there are people at the top who have gotten 92, 93, 94% of total wealth gains just in the recovery. forgot about the last 30 years, are going to pay more. there are all sort of way the tax system is corrupt and rigged. and those ways which are rigged and corrupt in which some senses aren't even necessarily ideological do have rates that cut against progressivity we
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have. second of all, this point about equality, this is a much broader conversation that we should have. we have this growing inequality and what should we do about it. i think two things i want to say about that, one is there's a lot of evidence that suggests you can't separate the two. in fact, rising inequality is bad for mobility. in fact, one of the president's economic advisers called this the gatsby curve when you plot these two things against each other. if you care about mobility, you don't care to sort of cordoned it off. to go to the point that you made that you want to agree with, yes, when you look at the countries that are most equal, right, the thing that makes them reduced inequality some the progressivety of this tax tim. you line gdps on one side and rank them how they are.
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what you see is, everybody's payings taxes, and everybody is paying in the benefits, you have that inequality. and it's something that the democratic party has walked away from in favor of things like targeted redistribution of tax credit, et cetera, as opposed to we all pay in and all pay out. yes, please. >> i just want to say that the brookings institution has effectively pushed this idea of -- >> i know. >> but that's not my area of expertise so i certainly won't talk for him. there's a lot of debate to be had on this issue. i mean, i'll agree with you, on basically, with the rest. i do think, though, mobility really matters. and again if you want to actually improve mobility, i think that, you know, investment
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in education, regardless whether it's through the public sector is actually really cheap. >> suzy. >> if you want to look at the distribution of this deal, there's one statistic that really just stands out to me which is if you look at income tax, .7% of all taxpayers will see a rise in their income tax. i mean, they pay a lot so their taxes will go up. but that is a tiny percentage of taxpayers that are going to see higher taxes and get more revenue from. you know, what's interesting about the distribution, what you see not just with the middle class and the poor, i guess on what the new yorker alec mcginnis calls the bethesda. if you look at those earning between $500,000,05 o00,000.
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they were the real winners. ultimately, the deal defines them as being middle class got off very well for themselves in this deal. >> you've got some of those folks in your -- >> yes, i did. >> and that was part of the debate between the president wanted 250. and the republicans who eventually forced it up to 400 or 450. there's no question about that. what i was going to say if you're talking about -- we have found -- it used to be as productivity increased, so did wages. we now know, and this has gone sharply different in the last 30 years especially since reagan started change all the policies. society productivity go up. the benefits to the top of the income scale, not to the middle class. number one. number two, mobility, we now have a less mobile society than most industrial countries. >> actually the mobility of
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decline over time. if scott is watching this, i'll note he's at the center of this, "a." and "b," mobility proves to be something extremely difficult to measure. nonetheless, it's clear it's gone way down. >> and there's no doubt that the mobility -- >> and there's also no doubt that one of the reasons for that we've made it practically a felony to try to organize a union in the private sector. >> that's right. >> and that's clear when you see the destruction of union power and the growth of corporate power. >> that's the biggest reason. david, you were the pre-eminent tax reporter in the country. and still are. take on your this deal, a step in the right direction? >> no, just minor tweaking. >> not big enough? >> well, not big enough. why are we starting at 450,000 and saying nothing above that.
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we have people with annual salaries of $50 million a year. they're paying the same rate as somebody making $450,000. we need higher rates. >> i should point that out, i introduced the bill in september to eliminate the sequester and to pay for it by doing two things, number one, accelerate the withdrawal from afghanistan and put new higher taxes on 1 million, 2 million. >> new brackets. one thing we should know about, this fracto nature it's not the 1% it's the top 0.1%. it's not written in stone that you can only have five brackets or six brackets. in fact, we have the calculus software that you can graph it along one curve. we'll talk about the debt and ceiling right after this. t, in , 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit fastreliefchallenge.com
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hello from new york, i'm chris hayes, with me a have congressman jerrolnadler. suzy kim. david cay johnson, and veronique de ru goody. we were talking about democrats to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. i want to talk about what this sets up next. i think the big criticism from democrats and liberal observers wasn't necessarily what was in this deal. but the fact that because there's no debt ceiling raised in it. and because it pushes the sequester tao two months ahead of time that you've now set up yet another couldn'tdown clock cable news crisis basically where we're going to head rush long to this deadline. and that the republicans are going to have much more leverage
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here because they're once again threatening not to raise the debt ceiling unless they get spending cuts. i guess my question to you congressman nadlor. you have a proposal, it's not yours, this emanated from a commenter on a blog. but it, i think, pretty sound, actually. explain your proposal, the proposal that's out there that you are now advocating. >> you put it in context first. >> yes. >> the republicans have suddenly invented this notion that we bargained about raising the debt ceiling, to reduce spending in order to get their votes for increasing the debt ceiling. the president said he won't negotiate on that, an he's quite right. what they're really saying is by not raising the debt ceiling, we're not going to pay the bills that we voted to incur. we're going to permit the country to default and cause economic chaos. and destroy the country.
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they're basically saying we're going to blackmail everybody in the country. absolutely illegitimate. it's like an old gangster movie where someone says, nice economy you got there, it's going to blow up if you don't pay me protection money. that's what they're saying. it should not be indulged. but there are two ways of simply saying we're not going to talk about it. one is the 14th amendment which says the forthright nature of the united states will not be questioned, that a statue prevents you to paying the bills. the president for some reason said he won't do that. i've seen very good congressional arguments on both sides of that question. it's never been tested in court. it should. and the other question is, that there is a way, it sounds strange, but it's not. in no more strange and certainly a lot more justifiable than
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blackmailing the whole country by threatening the economy. and it is that the treasury has the authority under specific statutory authority to issue platinum coins in any denomination. >> from time to time. >> from time to time. anytime the treasury secretary wants to do it in any denomination. you take a platinum coin. you put john boehner's face on it. you mint it. say it's a trillion-dollar coin. give it to the federal reserve. >> and they can deposit it in the treasury account at the federal reserve. you fill out a deposit slip. >> and then the treasury can pay its bills. now, you're not increasing bauer rogue. you're not borrowing anything. you're not having inflation because you're not spending any money. you're still spending the amount of money that congress voted to spend. there's no downside to it. now, is it a legal trick? yes, it gets around the legal trick and the blackmail of the debt ceiling. >> if there are any hollywood
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agents watching, i am working on a trillion-dollar heist film which would be superawesome from the trip to the federal reserve. find my e-mail address. >> the point is, it's a legal way of taking the blackmails away from whoever wants to use it. and then you can have an intelligent, or a proper debate of your level of spending. >> i think it's a fun idea to think about. you think about obama handing if you don't want to do boehner, and give it to republicans, the question is, you have are various ways to bring this up. but there could be a lot of litigation around whether this was actually the intent of the law. you could say actually this was it so that we could issue commemorative coins, say, with bruce springsteen's face on it. >> the general rule of statutory interpretation when you have very specific language that says
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you may do this, it doesn't matter the reason for it. >> but this is the thing, if it does launch a lot of litigation and challenges, that could be a really, really messy situation. we're dealing with a question of whether the country going to default or not. >> right. but to the congressman's point, i think to me, the idea of 1$10 trillion coin, "a," defaulting on the debt is messy. people should know what that means, right? when we say we're not going through the debt ceiling. there's a huge list of creditors out there. if you printed out who the u.s. owes money to, it would fill up the room. and some of you around going to get paid. no one is specifying who is not going to get paid. maybe you go through and say red state seniors, you guys get 100%. or blue, you get 50%. or congressmen, you get 50% of
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your salary. literally that is open, once you say we're not just going to pay the people we owe money to. >> technically, defaulting would mean not paying the interest on your debtee. > >>. >> no, it's not just that. >> you've got to recycle that. very important. most of the borrowing out there, a two-year debt. we're highly vulnerable to an increase in rates. by the way, my class at syracuse law cool is going to examine this. >> the point you said is very important. if you default on your debt the interest rates are going to go hugely upwards and you're going to owe more money. >> that's right. >> and we saw this resurgence on twitter about the platinum coin idea and bloggers have picked it up. there's this feeling this should
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not abe question. >> and here's my feeling on this, that one of the disturbing trends of congressional behavior in the last five years, well, in the 112th, particularly, is explaining the gap between norms and rules. which is to say, the republicans are very good at this kind of arbitrage in which things are technically doable under the rules but just haven't been done before. and to me, the trillion-dollar coin is an equal response. which means go read the rules. literally in the treasury, you can mint a coin. everybody says, that's ridiculous. it's not been done before. it's not in the norm. the republicans have tremendous power. when it comes to monetary policy, extraordinary times have produced monetary improvisation in the past. and what conservatives economists say brought us out of great depression. so there are moments in which
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you have to do extraordinary things. >> but that -- i totally agree with you, suzy. but this practice could be a total disaster. but more importantly, this is evidence of how dysfunctional this has become. the fact -- >> you got no argument here. >> we don't have a congress who is actually interested in addressing the real problem. >> excuse me, we have a republican party that is willing to use blackmail and destroy the economy in order to get their way. >> i'm not interested in certainly defending the republicans. >> but that's the reality. >> but the things like -- we're spending way more than we select in taxes. that is going to go forward. >> that is not true. >> this is a gimmick to continue not addressing this question. >> no. >> increasing the debt ceiling without having an actual conversation. i agree that this is not -- crisis are not the best way to
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actually get to solid reforms. that being said -- >> but that's what's suggested. >> yeah, the problem is the idea that we can just give a blank check to the government. i mean, right now the debt is like over six times what the government -- >> i got to reply to four errors. our debt has been reduceded in the last three years. the lastest reduction in gdp. on its way to 3. number two, the reason the deficit is so large, very simple. we have a depression on our hands. a recession. call it what you will. things like unemployment insurance and food stamps go up. get the recession out of the way. get unemployment down to 5%. our deficit goes way down by about 40%. it's not that we're overspending. our spending as a percentage of
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gdp is not up. it's down, in fact. >> short-term, yes. >> in the long-term, you have to deal with medical. >> right. we're talking short term. >> just a few years. and the fact is you can have a debate. you can disagree with whether the deficit is too large, but not at the point of a gun by training to destroy the economy. >> want to thank the congressman from new york. you guys are up next at the end of the show. up next, academy-award maker oliver stone will be here with me. i am not going downtown standing in line to cash it. i know where my money is, because it is in my pocket. i got more time with my daughter, we got places to go. [ freeman ] go open a new world, with visa prepaid. more people go with visa. but i'm still stubbed up.
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♪ filmmaker oliver stone has received three academy awards for his work on the film's midnight expression, platoon and born on the fourth of july." along with a bronze star and
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work in his service in vietnam. his latest is a ten-part documentary and a companion book on policy from all the way back to the 19th century to the present day. the untold history of the united states airing mondays 8:00 eastern on showtime. first i want to talk about the responsibilities of truths and history, with django and lincoln dominating the academy awards. quote, stone sees his mission as communicating the spiritual truth of the story. he may even slightly distort the factual truth sometimes for the good of this goal. because of these attitudes, he has never 81 stood why people get offended when he tells what he believes is the truth. to him there is no such thing as telling the truth. joining me here is oliver stone. thank you for getting up this saturday morning. >> it's a challenge.
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>> i'm interested in this debate we seem to be having because of the academy award films three of which are so heavily focused in either specific historical periods. specific historical actors, or specific historical films "zero dark thirty." what do you think the responsibility of the film make is to the fidelity of some vision what actually happened? >> well, i think you have to approach it like you would have a college final. you do as much research as you can. i mean, i honestly believed, after i went through tons of research that will kennedy was killed. so i have no problem making a money, i always set at the time, this is a counter myth to the myth of the warren commission. i got in a lot of hot water
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about the debate. it's a completely false document and it reads badly and it doesn't make sense logically. i followed the line and i didn't have a problem with that presenting it as a countertruth. >> this is what filmmakers do, they seem to want it both eye whats. at one level, you say, well, it's a countermyth. but on the other level, millions of people are going to see your movie and come away -- >> right. >> i hope so because i do believe it. i do hope so. behind closed doors when i made my movie, and i had dialogue that we wrote based on what we thought may have happened with mrs. nixon and mr. nixon. and accountant members. cabinet members. lincoln, they go behind doors,
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it's about a man played by an actor. and with mr. bush, we don't know what the relationship is, we sense our way through it. that's the best we can do. it's an historical drama. when i can "untold history of the united states" i'm saying these are the facts as we researched. >> why have you been drawn to these actually history? >> it's the drama. it's the basis of power. and in these men who are -- and women who, you know, run things, who do things, you know, the greeks loved it. and they're akt trattracted to . i always felt that lincoln was a very ugly man. my father respected him at the time. underneath that authority
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figure, i found my truth -- >> i liked nixon. >> when i heard it's true that he ended up on his knees praying with kissinger which is a great parable which is probably what did happen, it's a great moment. >> the untold history that we're going to talk about more with your co-author, a lot of it is about mythologies, mythologies that get wrapped around what america is. and this idea of a countermyth which is the project, righty. >> right. to me, the fact that we had to drop the atomic bomb on japan because we were trying to save lives is a myth and a myth that's been brought into it by the american people. >> but one other thing that comes across in the series is the role that hollywood plays. the essentially role that hollywood plays some mythmaking.
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the mythmaking we have about ourselves. i kind of want you to talk about the role that america plays right after they take this quick break. i'll give you a second to think about it. because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between my dentures and my gum and it was uncomfortable. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. so it's not about keeping my dentures in, it's about keeping the food particles out. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
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with best-in-class mpg. lease for $169 per month. visit choosenissan.com. here with filmmaker oliver stone. tell me about mythmaking and counter mythmaking which is somewhat a project. when you look at ultra criticism from the hollywood, i think part it comes from a genuine and legitimate place which is the feeling of alienation from being within the center of power where you have it within your capability to create these myths, right? and there's something incredible powerful about having to be oliver stone and make films that people see. >> yes. >> and do you think that's part of why the right is still sort of beating up on hollywood all the time? because it's a sense in which it's alienating to not have that power yourself? >> i don't know what they're doing. they have been exerting their power over the american
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imagination since the beginning of the century. i mean, hollywood was originally fairly left, like the birth of a nation. in the 1930s and '40s there was a left-winging group that were making wonderful films. capital films. a lot of the writers were communists. the writer of "mr. smith goes to washington" which we quoted in our series, we compare him to henry wallace, a jimmy stewart character. all of these people were outed after the late '40s. they were embarrassed by their credits that they received in the '30s. and there were committees set up in washington to drive all the so-called hollywood communists out of hollywood. they were awful on the policies. walt disney, the legends, they were horribly people what they did to the workers of hollywood, actors and labor.
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we went through a heavily communist era. the first film about the atomic bomb was called "the githing of the end" i think it was called. it was started an an anti-bomb movie and by the time it got through truman administration and all the regulatory agencies in hollywood, it was turned into the bomb is a necessary thing type of movie. this went on, john wayne, he fought communists. >> do you think that's -- how would you characterize if someone came here from another country and had no experience with hollywood and they said what are the politics like of hollywood? >> i think it would be very relaxed by the time you hit "rambo" and stallone where he kills thousands of foreigners to trying to free someone. or somalia "black hawk down" the
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movie dwells on how they're slowly dying heroically, the white men. but the black men are getting slaughtered around them. we saw it in death wish, dirty harry movies. and now the movie "zero -- >> dark thirty." they don't think about taking the man back alive and wounded back to trial and showing him and dealing with the consequences of what he did. that kind of open discussion would have been helpful. like nuremberg. they took the nazi, and they
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dealt with that. we never talk about it. there's no discussion about it. >> what i'm hearing from you there's this strain of supremacy in violence and vigilanteism that runs all the way through? >> that's all the way through. the movies i do are to counter. they're in the minority, by far. the "platoon" movie that was able to come out that whole wave of m.i.a. movies. they did "born on the fourth of july" the same way. but by the mid-90s. the 1990s. the pendulum was going the other way. we made "d-day" "and "the saving of private ryan." we did that two ways. >> it actually precedes that by a year or two? >> yes. if you look at bush, the second, he was obviously very influenced by the film because there was
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that rah rah spirit. "black hawk down" came out in 20000. and in 2000, "gladiator" was the best picture. these two hims are emblematic of power and might. in the same way that patton influenced nixon to go into cambodia. you saw it with george scott. pro-america. americans don't to lose. >> you have this new series called "the untold history of the united states." you've done it with a history professor who is going to join us in just a second. and i want to talk about what story you're trying to tell, what story isn't told about the united states and what story you're trying to tell, right after this break.
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♪ 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,
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1 -- [ explosion ] at 5:29:45 the bomb detonates. ♪ the light is brighter than the sun. observing the explosion, oppenheimer recalls a line from the hindu scripture. >> now, i am become death. the destroyer of worlds. >> this launched the united states on a journey turning the rush of the founding fathers into a militarized state. >> that's a segment from the up told history the united states. a ten-part documentary on history, airing mondays at show time. joining us, peter kuznick, thank
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you for being here. you collaborated with oliver on this project. how did this come about, this seri series? why did it come about? >> basically, peter was teaching at the american university in my films in 1996. and we talked -- because i grew up in new york city, and the bomb was dropped the year from i was born. i never really questioned the atomic bomb. ever. all my life. i assumed because it was never -- there was a movie or two but it wasn't really something that i wondered. i asked him what was the bomb about? he was an expert on the 1930 science. and he told me the story from 1944 and he connected henry wallace to the bomb. and there was a great story there which he can tell. as a result, it opened my eyes as to why the bomb was dropped. >> what was the henry wallace story? >> the henry wallace story? well, henry wallace had been
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pretty much lost to history. you ask most students they don't even know who henry wallace was. he was one of the most remarkable figures in 20th century. secretary of agriculture, when roosevelt was running for fred in 1930. he wanted a progressive on the ticket. they demanded henry wallace. the definition refused to give him wallace. and roosevelt wrote a letter resigning saying we already have one dominating conservative party, we don't need two. i don't want to be a candidate in this party. fortunately, eleanor roosevelt went to the floor to the convention in chicago and made them know he was serious. so they put wallace on the picture. 1944, the war was ending, getting close to the end of the war, wallace was up rerenomination again. the party bosses wants him off the ticket. they knew wallace wasn't going to survive another term.
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in 1941, henry lewis writes the 20th century. wallace countered that and said it must be the century of the common man. he called for a worldwide people's revolution. ending colonialism. >> wallace is a fascinating figure. he compares the american revolution and the revolution. he steps through the revolutions. broadly with this counternarrative which is kind of a revisionist history of the world war. i think that's a fair way of describing it. and it's a revisitist history that aren't novel in the left. this kind of history has been there before. and the issue here is the recognition of the nature of the soviet state, right? that wallace was on the wrong side of history in this respect. that he was duped. that he went there, he saw the
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siberian work camps, they said, oh, it's all volunteer labor. he wrote a book later in his life saying i was wrong. he actually ended up endorsing nixon and eisenhower, right? why should wallace be this kind of visionary figure if he was wrong about the soviet nation of the state, and that's such a defining issue not just for the world but all? >> the china experts on the trip. the russian experts got it wrong. the military people got it wrong also because they set it up to show him the village which is not the reality. he was not wrong on big issues throughout his life. he was consistent on the big issues. issues were -- >> racial integration. >> and ending colonialism. he could have ended colonialism much earlier. he was the leading spokesman in
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the arms race. after they doesn't get the nomination when they replace with with truman of all time. wallace stays inside the cabinet. and he says in the cabinet for the next year. he's right about that, if you read his writings, and i've read them all i think right on all positions. >> then is he right when he later says i was wrong? >> no. he got the labor camp wrong. but that's not a big deal. and it's not that he doesn't understand the nature of the soviet union, he thought if the united states and the soviets remained friends, the important thing, they collaborated well during world war ii. most think that united states won world war ii militarily. >> this is something that comes out and i think this part is really important just the emphasis on what the russian experience of world war ii is
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which has been largely written out of american history because we tend to focus on d-day. i want you to talk about why the emphasis on that experience, right after we take another break. >> wow, it goes too fast. multig! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios maybe you want to incorporate a business. or protect your family with a will or living trust. and you'd like the help of an attorney. at legalzoom a legal plan attorney is available in most states with every personalized document to answer questions. get started at legalzoom.com today. and now you're protected. [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or turn 30-million artifacts... ♪ into a high-tech masterpiece?
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talking about "the untold history of the united states" we were talking about hollywood the cent of mythmaking and countermyth. one of the things the most important, is your focus on the experience with the russian experience of world war ii? we don't think about it, a lot and think about world war ii, that's partly because we are americans. >> the history in toen hours is really about america. and what russia are thinks is a huge role in this. it starts in the first three chapters, we show a clip of the bomb being tested there.
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and oppenheimer there looking at his watch. that's a founding myth that we had to drop the atomic bomb on japan to save american lives. we go to some length to deconstruct that myth. and it's very important that we did not have to. japan was gone. it was finished. they were worried about the russian invasion coming towards the mainland. it was a serious invasion. they knocked out a major japanese army. it was over. we dropped the bomb to tell the russians, look, this is the new rules. this is a new war. you screw with us, this is what you're going to get. you screw with us in europe, you screw with us in asia. this is your reward. we were very barbaric in doing that. it was a rear signal to russia. they got the signal. stalin was no fool. this is important. that's one myth. the other myth, talking about colonialism, the british empire and what churchill was writing
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for, he wasn't interested in knocking out -- putting up the second front to help the russians. he was interested in getting the colonies back for england, singapore, iran. these three myths very important to understand at the beginning of the story. >> the nuclear era dawns and it produces the national security act of 1947. and the construction of what is, i think, what the series describes as, and i think describes accurately is essentially a permanent war state in the u.s. >> yeah, exactly. >> how do you begin to undo a permanent war state? >> well, we can -- we got -- there's ten chapters here. >> the way -- the way you begin to undo it is educate people about what the history really is. people don't have a clear understanding of their history, then they're going to think the way this has evolved is the way it had to evolve. we're trying to show with henry wallace.
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with our treatment of john kennedy. our discussion of what happens when stalin dies on march 5th, 1953. >> one of the thinks that rankled me a little bit, the left approach to history has been both these counters narratives but also rejecting the great man theory, right. the iconic howard zin project is about great men calling the shots and the outcomes. but this series comes to come closely to a great man theory. there are essentially saints and scoundrels, right? when you have scoundrels in power, you have bad stuff. and the saints keep getting squelched. my question is, is that what history comes down or are there pivotal moments? >> there are pivotal moments. the bomb is made from the top
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down. >> a lot of these things are secret behind closed doors. they couldn't weigh in on the bomb because they didn't know we were building the bomb. you have to deal with the power players at the top. now, other places we bring in, for example, when we talk about nixon, we show how much nixon was obsessed with the war. and he got got elected between. >> but i sense in you a filmmaker, an approach to storymaking, that's not grounded in historical force, but more focused on these individuals? >> that's true. like "born on the fourth of july" it's a story about a man that gets a bullet -- it's a very violent movie. he is wounded and paralyzed about the rest of his life. it's about him.
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but when he joins in the end of the movie he goes into a movie and which ron did join, and you see the effect that these people have, as he is said, in getting out of the war. those people worked. in the '60s, that worked, the protests. in the same way i was going to say that reagan was influenced by the protest of the nuclear freeze in the early '80s. so it does have an effect. ' '89 was a great moment. you were around. 1981 was an olive branch. bush with gosgoshbezhev saying s over. >> peter kuznick, thanks for coming in. what are we doing now that we
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♪ all right. so what do we know how we didn't know last week? we now know that 2012 was the safest year for air travel. only 22 fatal crashes worldwide in all flights only ten of those flights were in passenger aircraft according to data assembled with the aviation safety network. these figures were compiled before the crash of a jet in moscow which killed four people. but before that crash, the data works out to about one fatal accident per 2.5 million crash r every 12 million. we now know that in the u.s.
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which has not had a single fatal plane crash since the one in buffalo in 2009, the picture is more impressive. after the crashes in 2006 that killed a combination of 216 people, the government cracked down on the air traffic commission to cut down on the crashes. we know that pack in the 1970s and 1980s when the plane crashes were routine, this kind of safety record would have been n unthinkable. think about how we hurl hundreds of thousands of pounds of metal through the air millions of times a day, and it almost never goes wrong. with e know that in the wake of the spectacle at dysfunction in the wake of the fiscal curve deal we can get cynical about progress, and it is easy for us
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as a society to get under the boring national transportation board to solve extremely deadly problems. we still don't know what the obama administration's legal justification for killing combatants including american citizens abroad is, because those documents are secret. we know that colleen mcmann deals with the white house, according to charlie savage and scott shane are suing on behalf of the american drones that killed iraqi men in 2011. there is a memoranda about the strikes. despite the secret justification for killing american citizens might help us to understand the vast and ever seemingly growing exercise that we have been engaged for the last year, but the judge ruled that they did not violate the violation of the
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americans freedom act. and we know that there cannot be a debate of the constitutionally or the propriety of kiing american citizens unless we know what the white house is making in its favor. back to the table, we have our panel. oliver stone is still with us. i i want to know what you know now, suze kim. >> i know that president obama and the last congress did their darnest to preserve george bush's legacy and why do i they? because the fiscal cliff deal only raised income taxes on 0.7% of all taxpayers. just because there are not that many americans who earn $450,000, and have estates worth more than $4.5 million? why did they do this? they did it in the name of protecting the middle-class, but as you saw over the course of the debate, the definition of who got defined as middle-class
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got defined up higher and higher. so as a result, parts of the fiscal cliff deal did help the working and the working poor, and what it did is to preserve a vast majority of the bush tax cuts, and that is not permanent and it is going to be a cornerstone of obama's legacy that he protected the tax legacy that his predecessor passed. >> and your point is about airlines. the government cracked down, and we got safer airlines. i talked to two businessmen in new orleans at the new orleans association of law schools who both said to me that they hate this pressure to lower the wages on the workers, and that i want universal health care, and they can't do it, because was the system won't let them. the rules matter. one of the panels we talked about there is about how when government government allows some businesses to cheat, it is not just the con stum issers they a -- consumers they are cheating, but it is every business person.
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rules matter. if you don't have rules that say that everybody must follow the rules, you would have to end up with terrible problems, and plane crashes left and right if you don't have consistent rules. >> what we know is that the president is pursuing rendition policy of interrogating people without due process and a policy he heavily criticized heavily when george push was doing it. so we know that not only is president obama pursuing the failed economic policy of the bush administration, but the foreign policy blunder. >> oliver stone? >> well, the judge that you mentioned and two literary references in the dialogue, and she mentioned alice in wonderland and catch 22, and the thought of that when you said that. good quotes for the literary. chapter 10 is coming up january 14th which is the last of the
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ten-part series, and we did a lot of the new work into the future on the obama who is a very efficient war president. he is developing, and talking about cyber space and space and cyber space development, and full spectrum dominance, but we put a tremendous effort in space, and refuse to sign the united nations treaty and o outlier, israel and us. >> about not weaponizing space. >> we have weaponized space with drones and alfred mccoy, the university of wisconsin talks about a three-tiered system from 250 miles up to about 50 miles up. very dangerous. electronic frontier and can blind a foreign army. we are in charge of it, and the chinese are not stupid and neither are the russian, but it is dangerous. >> one thing that comes across in untold history is that two things that dominated the american political landscape is space and nuclear weapons. we are still in space, and we still have nuclear weapons.
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i thank the panel. oliver stone, academy award winning record whose showtime series "the untold history of the united states" airs monday night at 8:00. thank you for getting up. sunday at 8:00, i will have freshman congressman hakeem jefferies. coming up is melissa harris-perry, and on today's "mhp" who emerged as the deal makers and breakerers on the fiscal deal. what will meaningful reform look like? that is melissa harris-perry right here. thank you for getting up at 8:00. happy new year. a hybrid? most are just no fun to drive. now, here's one that will make you feel alive. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see?
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cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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this morning, my question, did lincoln free the slaves? and will the dream of immigration reform become reality? plus, the struggle continues
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between the white house and congress, and first on the chessboard of fiscal cliff, the rooks were doing all of the work. good morning, and happy new year. i'm melissa harris-perry. we are starting today in early august of 2008. you see, back then john mccain was looking for a running mate, and the press was trying to help him find one. well before mccain shocked the world with the soon to be former governor of alaska, there was talk of another obscure figure still emerging on the national stage, eric cantor, the fourth-term congressman from virginia. supporters gushed that he was the rising star of the gop, young, handsome and well spoken and the only republican jewish member of the house, and he could help in florida they said. he could shake up the race a little bit. john mccain did not pick eric
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cantor, but in 2008, he had a good year being elected minority whip, and making him the number two republican in the house. it had been a swift assent thanks to missouri senator roy blunt who first brought canter into leadership in 2002. and now they recognized his prowess in one critical area of gove governing, and not legislating or dealmaking, but fund-raising. so in the second term, he is a man with power, and by 2008, canter is john boehner's lieutenant, and hold on, because i have another story to tell. go back to august of 2008, because then-senator barack obama was also looking for a running mate. would it be primary rival hillary clinton or beloved rival tim kaine or chris dodd? the speculation ended on august 3rd when the text message around the world told us that joe biden would be barack obama's